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Cuts and CloudsVagueness, its Nature, & its Logic$
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Richard Dietz and Sebastiano Moruzzi

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199570386

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199570386.001.0001

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The Illusion of Higher‐Order Vagueness

The Illusion of Higher‐Order Vagueness

Chapter:
(p.523) 30 The Illusion of Higher‐Order Vagueness
Source:
Cuts and Clouds
Author(s):

Crispin Wright

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199570386.003.0031

It is common among philosophers who take an interest in the phenomenon of vagueness in natural language not merely to acknowledge higher-order vagueness but to take its existence as a basic datum; so that views that lack the resources to account for it, or that put obstacles in the way, are regarded as deficient just on that score. This chapter aims to loosen the hold of this deeply misconceived idea. Higher-order vagueness is no basic datum but an illusion, fostered by misunderstandings of the nature of ordinary (if you will, ‘first-order’) vagueness itself. To see through the illusion is to take a step that is prerequisite for a correct understanding of vagueness, and for any satisfying dissolution of its attendant paradoxes.

Keywords:   higher-order vagueness, vagueness in language, Sorites paradox

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